5 Jun 2015

Fed Farmers appeals GMO decision

9:47 am on 5 June 2015

Federated Farmers has lodged an appeal with the High Court over a decision allowing Northland Regional Council to regulate the use of genetically modified organisms in the region.

Federated Farmers president William Rolleston.

William Rolleston (file) Photo: RNZ / Jemma Brackebush

The farming lobby group had previously appealed to the Environment Court over the matter. Last month the court ruled the council had jurisdiction under the Resource Management Act to decide whether GMOs can be used.

The council would would do this though regional policy statements and plans.

Federated Farmers' president William Rolleston was seeking clarification on some points of the decision but would not discuss details because it was before the court.

Green Party GE spokesperson Steffan Browning criticised the federation for challenging the outcome.

"Federated Farmers [is] still trying to influence and ride over local communities that want to protect their economic futures, they want to protect their local environment, they want to have all decisions around genetic engineering to be able to go through their local councils to ensure they have those protections.

"Federated Farmers coming in appear to be blocking what we would see as progressive decisions and it's very, very disappointing."

The appeal is expected to be heard later this year.